Two Harbors council rejects special leviesThe Two Harbors city council met Sept. 10 with the mayor, city administrator, attorney and all councilors present except Rosati.
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
The Two Harbors city council met Sept. 10 with the mayor, city administrator, attorney and all councilors present except Rosati.
The council passed resolutions establishing the proposed property tax levy for taxes payable in 2013 and the budget for the City of Two Harbors. Although the general levy was increased, special levies for services such as water and sewer went down, so Two Harbors residents will see no increase in their property taxes next year. The final vote on the adoption of the budget and the levy will take place Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. A motion was passed to reschedule that meeting from its original Dec. 24 date. The public is invited and encouraged to attend that meeting and speak before the council regarding the levy and the budget before the final vote on the matter.
A segment of the new walking trail in Two Harbors will be named the James Oberstar Bike and Walking Trail for the former U.S. Representative who wrote the legislation and secured a large portion of the funds for the project. The trail is part of the Safe Routes to School legislation that has funded similar trail systems in 11,000 school districts across the nation. Before the vote, Mayor Bolen encouraged the passage of the resolution to name the newly completed portion of the trail out of respect for Oberstar’s efforts.
Residents in Two Harbors who have exhausted resources through Lake County Human Services and Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency will be able to apply for Heatshare , a program of the Salvation Army. The council passed a resolution to participate in the program. Heatshare helps those who have received disconnect notices for electric and gas utilities and those in need of heating fuel or propane. The amount available for these purposes is dependent upon the donations received from local fuel vendors, utilities and private donations. This program has helped over 120,000 Minnesotans since 1982, according to a Salvation Army spokesperson.
Councilor Mc Donald introduced a motion that would allow the City to apply for a grant from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board. In its proposal to the IRRRB, the City would seek grant funding in the amount of $350,000 for the construction of a new hangar at the Two Harbors Airport. Additional funding would be sought from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, with the remaining $50,000 split between the City of Two Harbors and Lake County. A second motion was introduced to request the funds from the Lake County Board. With the possible sources of funding identified, the council’s remaining question was whether the City could decline the grant funding if the amount from the IRRRB was less than the proposed $350,000. Mc Donald said he thought so, but the answer will be confirmed. The council passed both motions unanimously.
A discussion about the Lake View International Golf Course took place with Councilor Norberg presenting a concept put forth by James Felton to maintain a 9-hole course with two tee boxes per hole and use a portion of the remaining course for residential and commercial development. Councilor Simonson expressed the opinion that the City should consider the idea. Concerns were expressed about the financial burden of continuing to operate the golf course as is, and the importance of keeping the situation from becoming a burden on taxpayers. The city administrator was asked to look into Felton’s handling of a similar project in Rochester before considering next steps.